A Closer Look at the First and Second round Grant Recipients
Black Voters Matter increases civic engagement and power building in predominantly Black communities. The organization works in nine southern states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. In 2019, it expanded into two northern states — Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Through the $500,000 grant the organization will register, educate and mobilize Black voters in 17 Alabama counties and 24 Georgia counties through mini-grants to grassroots groups and conduct outreach via texting and other digital and social media strategies.
Dream Defenders is a membership-based organization of Black and brown youth, young adults and students fighting for a better future by organizing campaigns, services, and political-education programming to improve community outcomes. The organization has 10 chapters across the state of Florida in Broward, Daytona, Gainesville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Sanford, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, and Tampa.
Through the $200,000 grant, the organization will register, educate, and mobilize Black and immigrant young people ages 18 to 34 in Broward, Orange and Osceola counties in Florida. Their outreach will include digital ads, social media, online events, texting, and phone banking.
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is a grassroots membership organization run by returning citizens who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. FRRC led the effort to pass Amendment 4 in 2018, and for many years has been building a statewide movement to transform the conversation around criminal justice reform.
Through the $1 million grant, the organization will focus on voter registration, education, and mobilization efforts on 1.1 million low-propensity Black and Latinx voters in the most heavily incarcerated precincts across 35 Florida counties, including the Panhandle, Central, and Southeast counties. This year, the group will mobilize voters via mail, relational organizing, and digital and radio advertising.
New Florida Majority Education Fund, Inc. is a community-centered racial justice organization dedicated to protecting and expanding democracy and advancing racial justice by educating communities about voting rights to increase democratic participation and the need to protect, reform, and modernize democracy. This organization does this by carrying out civic engagement activities in Black and brown communities who are often disengaged from the democratic process.
Through the $500,000 grant, the organization will conduct voter registration, education, and mobilization statewide among Black and brown communities, including returning citizens, in North and South Florida. The group’s aim is to register voters via calls, texting, digital and earned media, and in-person canvassing in compliance with CDC guidelines.
Organize Florida Education Fund’s mission is to engage its members in building power to advance policies that challenge systemic inequity and improve their lives through campaigns that include public education, civic engagement, legislative advocacy, and direct action. It is a multi-issue grassroots organization, representing mainly low-income women and women of color along the I-4 Corridor in Florida with offices in Hillsborough and Osceola Counties.
Through the $310,000 grant, the organization will conduct voter registration, education, mobilization, and protection with a focus on low- to moderate-income people of color with a low propensity to vote along the I-4 corridor in Florida.
The Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda’s mission is to improve the quality of governance through a more informed and active electorate who will hold elected officials accountable. The organization operates seven offices – metro Atlanta, Athens-Clarke County, Bibb (Macon) County, Chatham (Savannah) County, Dougherty (Albany) County, Richmond (Augusta) County, and Troup (LaGrange) County and conducts civic engagement activities, registers thousands of voters, holds educational forums, and mobilizes them to participate through phone banks, texting and providing rides to the polls, focusing primarily on African American women and men in 57 counties across the state.
Through the $75,000 grant, the organization will continue their work in voter registration, education, mobilization and protection with a focus on people of color, young people, single women and low-income Georgians in six areas: Athens-Clarke, Bibb, Chatham, Dougherty, Richmond, and Troup. Their tactics include phone banking, texting and relational organizing.
The New Georgia Project (NGP) is focused on voter registration, engagement, and power building for the large and growing population of African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans in Georgia. NGP is part of a movement – not a moment – to meet the changing demographics of Georgia, to harness the unheard voices of the New American Majority and to position Georgia for leadership in the South and across the country, identify local policy priorities, demystify the political process, and move their families and neighbors to action.
Through the $750,000 grant, the organization will engage in voter registration, education, and mobilization among low-propensity communities of color, women of color and young people. Its aim is to reach voters through earned and paid media, virtual phone banks, texting, and relational organizing. Additionally, it will counter online voter suppression with videos, songs, social listening, and tech tools.
ProGeorgia is a bold, trusted, and diverse collaborative that champions an equitable and inclusive democracy, for and with traditionally underrepresented communities. The organization supports and coordinates the civic engagement programs of its diverse partners. ProGeorgia develops the infrastructure, executes the joint strategies, and employs new tools and technology to assure a government that is more responsive to the needs of its constituencies.
Through the $750,000 grant, the organization will continue its work to register, educate, mobilize, and protect voters in low-propensity communities of color as well as women of color and young people, focusing on 33 counties for voter engagement and 70 counties for election protection. Its goal is to reach people of color through texting, digital pledge-to-vote drives, phone banking, mail, and earned media.
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice is a statewide civic engagement and base building table in Louisiana that is working to shift power back to the people, fight policies that hurt the state’s families, and increase voter participation by building support structures for community activism. Power Coalition’s support for grassroots leadership development empowers citizens to address classism, racism, and other marginalization in their own lives.
Through the $500,000 grant, the group will conduct voter registration, education, and mobilization among young people, returning citizens, seniors, and immigrants/migrants who are infrequent voters of color. Its strategies include phone banking, texting, social media, literature drops, events, and regranting.
Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) aims to restore the full civil and human rights to all current and formerly incarcerated people and their families, friends, and allies. VOTE works on restoring the right to vote as well as registering and mobilizing voters.
Through the $300,000 grant, the organization will engage in voter registration, education, and mobilization with an emphasis on incarcerated people and their families. Strategies include phone calls, door knocking under the guidance of the CDC, and literature drops.
Mississippi Votes (MS Votes) envisions a voter-friendly Mississippi — measured by increased voter registration and turnout (specifically within 18-35 voting bloc), the removal of historic barriers to voting access, an educated and informed electorate, and the implementation of policies designed to lessen the burden of voting. MS Votes engages low-income, young, and underserved Mississippians of color in all electoral and legislative processes.
Through the $200,000 grant, the organization will conduct voter registration, education, mobilization and protection activities with a focus on low-income, young, and underserved Mississippians of color between ages 18 to 35.
One Voice’s mission is to ensure an equal voice to traditionally silenced communities across the South. One Voice builds community awareness and increases the capacity of communities, so that local organizations and leaders are empowered and provided opportunities to engage in the formation of public policy that affects their lives.
Through the $350,000 grant, the organization will conduct voter registration, education, and mobilization activities focused on infrequent Black voters primarily in the Central District of Mississippi. Efforts also include voting rights restoration for individuals with felony convictions.
Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice United is a grassroots, statewide network that works to advance and defend the rights of immigrants in Alabama.
Through the $100,000 grant, ACIJ aims engage predominantly Latinx low propensity voters in various urban and rural counties throughout the state through bilingual phonebanking, mailers, texting, workshops, hotline and media outreach.
Faith in Action Alabama is a multi-faith, multi-racial organization that strives for systemic change by creating pathways of opportunity for all Alabamians.
Through the $185,000 grant, FIAAL aims to reach a targeted focus on formerly incarcerated individuals through phone banking, direct voter outreach, community meetings, and other activities.
Fortitude Foundation (Rollin to the Polls) was created to provide information, resources and tools to help engage community members to become active voters.
Through the $30,000 grant, RTTP aims to reach predominantly Black and/or low-income citizens of Montgomery, Autauga and Elmore counties through safe voter registration and assistance events, “literature drop” canvassing, online engagement, a voting rights restoration clinic and election day transportation.
Greater Birmingham Ministries is a multi-faith, multi-racial organization that engages in systemic change efforts to build a strong, engaged community and pursue a more just society for all people.
Through the $50,000 grant, GBM aims register eligible voters and assist in the completion of Certificate for Eligibility to Register to Vote (CERV) applications. Activities will target unregistered and returning citizens in Jefferson and Shelby counties.
The Ordinary People Society is a faith-based community program that works with the most disenfranchised member of community to restore people holistically.
Through the $120,000 grant, TOPS aims to reach Alabamians through voter registration, mailers and radio ads. Activities will target formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, first-time voters, rural and urban low-income communities of color and low propensity voters in various counties throughout the state.
United Women of Color is a membership organization with the goal of uniting women of all ethnicities to invest in the civic, social and financial well-being of women, girls and families.
Through the $20,000 grant, UWOC aims to engage people through social media, voter registration and absentee ballot assistance events and follow-up communications. Activities will target people of color and other disenfranchised voters in Madison and Morgan counties.
Common Ground Project works to improve the lives of all Floridians by advocating for issues that allow communities to focus on their commonalities over their differences, build broad consensus, and create lasting change. Common Ground Project is focusing its outreach on Black voters, young voters (ages 18 - 35), voters of faith and voters of color in suburban and exurban areas along the I-4 corridor.
Through the $150,000 grant, the organization will reach voters through a digital education and mobilization campaign, community and church-based outreach, educational events, and days of action.
Engage Miami Civic Foundation’s mission is to build a more just, democratic, and sustainable Miami by developing a local culture of civic participation for young people that is bold, creative, and impactful.
Through the $150,000 grant, Engage Miami Civic Foundation will focus its voter outreach on young people of color ages 16-35 in South Florida through digital voter education and GOTV, phone banking, text banking, digital ad buys, media engagement, and mailers.
Faith in Florida, Inc. is a network of congregation community organizations addressing systemic racial and economic issues causing poverty for families.
Through the $275,000 grant, Faith in Florida will engage in conversations with Black and Brown voters statewide through phone banking, texting, candidate forums, and educational workshops. The organization also will conduct Souls to the Polls with faith-based partners and their congregants.
League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund, Inc. is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government.
Through the $175,000 grant, LWVFL will partner with local leagues to conduct voter outreach and education to citizens along the 1-4 Corridor with a focus on returning citizens, relocated residents, and communities of color.
NALEO Education Fund facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Through the $150,000 grant, NALEO will reach Latino households - with a focus on Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties - through digital outreach (SMS/Text and digital ads) phone, mail, an online voter registration tool and a live, bilingual hotline.
Equality Foundation of Georgia works to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for Georgia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities.
Through the $170,000 grant, Equality Foundation of Georgia will partner with America Votes absentee ballot program to reach out to people of color across the state to encourage them to vote. To supplement phone and text follow-up, the grant award will support a final mailing to the universe encouraging them to submit their absentee ballot.
GALEO Latino Community Development Fund (GLCDF) seeks to increase civic engagement and leadership of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.
Through the $200,000 grant, GALEO will focus its outreach on the eligible, but not yet registered, Latinos in Gwinnett, Cobb, Hall, Whitfield and DeKalb, plus an additional Latino registered voters. Strategies include: phone conversations, texts, mailers, digital communications, social media and Spanish media partnerships and other voter activities.
Georgia Muslim Voter Project aims to educate Muslims in Georgia to register to vote, show up to the polls, and increase voter turnout through voter education, registration drives, and grassroots organizing. The nonprofit is partnering with the Georgia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to build on CAIR’s civil rights work with Muslim Americans.
Through the $110,000 grant, they will conduct voter activities in Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, Athens-Clarke, Chatham, Macon-Bibb, Columbia and Richmond counties to reach all potential American Muslim voters two to three times via direct mail, text banking, phone banking and door hangers.
Georgia Shift gives marginalized young people a seat at the table of democracy through hands-on education, electoral action, and civic media programs.
Through the $150,000 grant, Georgia Shift seeks to reach young voters of color in Richmond, Lowndes, Burke, Columbia, Peach, Emanuel, Fulton, and DeKalb counties – by connecting with undergraduate students on at least 10 campuses (including HBCU and minority serving institutions) and engaging young people with weekly livestream and an online video series.
Latino Community Fund, Inc.’s mission is to be a catalyst for investment and collaborative work with and within the Latino community in the state, supporting nonprofits with advocacy, program, development, technical assistance and grantmaking.
Through the $75,000 grant, Latino Community Fund seeks to reach Latinx voters including millennials, Gen Z mothers with limited English speaking, immigrants and Puerto Rican communities in DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Hall, Houston, Whitfield, Clarke, Tift and Rockdale counties through digital voter registration and get-out-the-vote, text/direct messages, an ethnic media campaign and other activities
NAACP Atlanta Branch’s mission is to secure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Through the $100,000 grant, NAACP Atlanta Branch seeks to increase Black voter turnout to focusing on 19 counties where 77% of Black registered voters live. NAACP will work with other NAACP branches, churches, grassroots community groups and fraternal organizations on voter outreach and mobilization activities including candidate forums, social media, text messaging, voter transport, local media and other activities.
The Arc of Georgia promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
Through the $30,000 grant, the Arc will focus on disability households of color in southern Georgia counties with reported high racial disparities among active voters. Voter activities include: personal contacts, text alerts; record and repost series of non-partisan digital forums; social media posts about absentee voting; short videos through a partnership with All Voting is Local; infographic 1-pagers on absentee ballot steps and other activities.
United Way of Coastal Georgia strives to create a community where all individuals and families have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential through education, income stability and health.
Through the $50,000 grant, United Way will partner with local community groups to target low income communities, communities of color, and youth/young adults in Glynn and McIntosh counties. Activities estimated to reach oters include: assisting unsheltered homeless individuals with voter registration, phonebanking, social media campaigns, voter education forums, youth outreach with College of Coastal Georgia, and encouraging health organizations to participate in VotER Healthy Democracy Kits.
Citizen SHE is an advocacy group that works to build an aligned group of Black women who inform, advocate for and enact a policy agenda to address the needs of Black women in Louisiana.
Through the $150,000 grant, Citizen SHE aims to increase voter participation among Black women across the state though online community engagement, a peer-to-peer voter registration program, youth civic engagement programming and legal training on voter suppression.
The Micah Project uses the development of leadership skills to empower citizens to organize their communities and find solutions to problems faced by people in the Greater New Orleans area.
Through the $60,000 grant, the Micah Project aims to engage households through volunteer leader recruitment, voter outreach training, phonebanking, voter engagement events and media communications. Activities will target faith communities in four predominantly African American parishes: Orleans, Jefferson, Slidell and Baton Rouge.
Urban League of Louisiana assists underserved communities throughout the state in securing economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
Through the $200,000 grant, ULLA aims to reach residents through social media campaigns, virtual voter education town halls, radio ads, billboards and phone banking. Activities will target the African American communities in Orleans, Baton Rouge and Caddo Parishes.
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is committed to achieving self-determination for the welfare and benefit of the Choctaw people.
Through the $55,000 grant, they plan to mobilize members of the Choctaw Indian Tribe in Eastern/Central Mississippi to vote through a social media campaign, door-to-door canvassing, peer-to-peer texting and strategic, culturally competent messaging.
Southern Echo’s mission is to empower African American, vulnerable, low-wealth and marginalized communities throughout Mississippi and the Southern Region with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to demand accountability and action for political, education, economic, and environmental and criminal justice.
Through the $600,000, Southern Echo aims to make contacts through a social media campaign, regional virtual GOTV rallies, an email campaign, text banking and phone banking.
Boat People SOS, Inc. has a mission to empower, organize and equip Vietnamese individuals and families in their pursuit for liberty and dignity.
Through the $60,000 grant, it will focus on low-propensity Asian American voters in Mississippi and Alabama. The organization aims to reach individuals through COVID-safe voter registration events, educational workshops, canvassing and phone banking.
Fair Count, Inc. is dedicated to partnering with Hard to Count (HTC) communities to achieve a fair and accurate count in the 2020 Census, and to strengthening the pathways to greater civic participation.
Through the $300,000 grant, Fair Count will conduct voter outreach through phone banking, text banking, media campaigns, digital relational organizing, PPE distribution and virtual event building in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, with a focus non-metro counties.
Project South is a leadership development organization that creates spaces for movement building, working with communities to strengthen leadership and to provide popular political and economic education for personal and social transformation. Working with partners, Project South will reach Black, low-income, and youth community members in Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi - prioritizing smaller cities, rural areas, and marginalized community members in urban areas.
Through the $100,000 grants, Project South will use combined strategies of events, drives, voter education will reach people directly and indirectly through Black Radio Project (50 Black-owned and operated radio stations in 13 Southern states) PSAs.
Vote.org helps voters cast ballots by addressing the barriers that make it difficult for them to participate, particularly for young voters and voters of color.
Through the $750,000 grant, Vote.org will target young voters and voters of color in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi through SMS texting, digital outreach, print-and-mail communications, radio advertising, billboards and bus activation. The organization aims to reach voters through SMS texting and additional voters through other strategies.
Lead photo by Getty Images / Ira L. Black